Long distance hiking trail recommended route

The Wild Start - Covão d'Ametade > Manteigas - GRZ on Foot: Stage 1

Long distance hiking trail · Portugal
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  • The Wild Start - Covão d'Ametade > Manteigas - GRZ: Stage 1
    The Wild Start - Covão d'Ametade > Manteigas - GRZ: Stage 1
    Photo: Diogo Martins, Aldeias do Xisto
The Multistage Route of Zêzere (GRZ) begins at the spectacular Zêzere Glacial Valley, a scenery of indescribable beauty.
Distance 10.2 km
2:40 h
15 m
735 m
1,425 m
708 m
Covão d'Ametade used to be a place where deer grazed. It is a hollow of glacial origin with river banks lined by silver birch trees. It is a glorious setting, laden with rustic and poetic sentiment. Three Cântaros [literally, 'pitchers'; in fact three steep crags] watch over Covão d'Ametade: to the south is the Cântaro Raso; the Cântaro Magro is in the centre and typifies the whole of the Serra da Estrela, and the Cântaro Gordo is to the north. This first sector connects Covão d'Ametade to Manteigas, and spans 10.2 km. 

Author’s recommendation

Marvel at the Zêzere Glacial Valley. Book your stay, experience and meal at Book in Xisto.



Waymarks > 3- It’s missing signs in at least one crossroad that can compromise the navigation without a map or GPS.

Conservation of the path > 4- In a good overall status of conservation with some isolated situations.

General conservation > 4- There aren’t any specific degraded areas identified.

Information boards and signs > 3- Reasonably maintained and with interest

Complementary boards > 1- Nonexistent or without minimum quality

Safety and suport structures > 4- Well-maintained essential structures

Local community integration > 4- Encourages integration / contacts with the community

Landscape integration > 5- Perfectly integrated into the landscape, exploring relevant points of interest

General Safety > 4- Has occasional low-risk situations

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Aldeias do Xisto
Update: October 15, 2020
Highest point
1,425 m
Lowest point
708 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Safety information

Take the necessary precautions for high temperatures in summer and slippery terrain in the winter. The levels of difficulty and times given are only indicative. They were calculated on a physical effort basis and do not include stops. Make your estimate by analising the technical data of path to be taken.

There is more than one intersection without signaling so we recommend using GPS or APP.

This path has a section of technical track so it is recommended to use poles.


Contact information

SOS Emergency: 112

SOS Forest: 117

Manteigas Municipal Council: (+351) 275 980 000 | turismo@cm-manteigas.pt

Tips and hints

The River Zêzere rises beside Torre, at an altitude of nearly 1993 m. It gushes between the steep walls of the Cântaros and starts to take shape in Covão d'Ametade where it makes its way with great pride, as though getting ready to enlarge its flow to later deposit it, with all its force, in the River Tejo. Leaving Covão d'Ametade, the River Zêzere breaks out through the glacial valley and winds its way for 200 km between lush, fertile valleys until it empties into the River Tejo at Constância. More than 10 km in length, the Zêzere glacial valley has a well formed 'u' shape, cleansing water through all its pores. The municipality of Manteigas, in the middle of the Estrela Mountain Range Nature Park offers visitors a diverse landscape with unparalleled attractions of great beauty and tranquillity, allowing intimate contact with nature.

The Estrela Mountain is Portugal’s only mountain where the glacial activity can be felt in such a unique way, imprinting itself in the landscape as polished rocks, erratic blocks, large coves, morays and glacial lagoons and deep U-shaped valleys.Water is a structuring element, allowing economic activities to develop around it. Investments made on thermal baths, at Estância Termal – Caldas de Manteigas, and trout farming at Viveiro das Trutas are but a few examples.Pastoralism and related activities gave rise to an industry linked to wool, which motivates the annual Expo Estrela.

Places not to be missed include the waterfall at the Paulo Luís Martins Fountain, which never stops spouting its refreshing water, Poço do Inferno ["Hell Well"], the waterfall with approximately 10 m that originates in the gorge formed by the Leandres Stream, and the Penhas Douradas ["Golden Cliffs"].

It is worth making the most of the passage through the Amoreira Valley to visit Cruzeiro, the main church, the Alminhas Fountain and other fountains. The river beaches and natural landscapes are also striking attractions in this region.



- Sausages

- Chouriça [traditional smoked sausage], Farinheira [wheat-pork based sausage] and Morcela [Black Pudding]

- Sheep and goat cheeses

- Rye bread and corn bread

- Caldudo (dried chestnut broth – piladas)

- Pumpkin soup

- Locally produced brown or rainbow trout

- Feijoca stew with pork cuts

- Serrana style stew

- Deboned lean pork vinha d’alho style [in a wine vinegar marinade]

- Oven-baked beans

- Desserts: Cottage cheese with pumpkin jam, rice pudding, crista [crest] cake, milk cakes, cavacas [syrup cakes], esquecidos [biscuits] and bean pastries

- Juniper brandy

- Jeropiga [Sweet wine liqueur]


Covão d'Ametade Lat.: 40° 19' 41.52" NLong.: 7° 35' 15.108" W (1,429 m)
40.328064, -7.586963
40°19'41.0"N 7°35'13.1"W
29T 620039 4465128
Show on Map


Manteigas Lat.: 40° 23' 46.68" NLong.: 7° 32' 19.14" W

Turn-by-turn directions

After travelling about 1 km on the EN 338, the trail exits to the left and goes down to the bottom of the valley along a narrow trackthat closely follows the Zêzere on its right bank until it crosses it to continue along an unpaved road on the left bank as far as the centre of Manteigas.


40.328064, -7.586963
40°19'41.0"N 7°35'13.1"W
29T 620039 4465128
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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10.2 km
2:40 h
15 m
735 m
Highest point
1,425 m
Lowest point
708 m
Multi-stage route Geological highlights Flora Linear route 'Healthy climate'


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